The Crime Writers’ Association

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

This Dagger is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality as long as the book was first published in the UK in English during the judging period.

The Dagger encompasses, though is not limited to, non-fiction works relating to historical crime, crime-related biography, crime-fiction literature, true crime and critical studies.

2023 shortlist

2023 longlist


Title of book Author name Publisher name Imprint
The Poisonous Solicitor Stephen Bates Icon Books
Dead in the Water: Murder and Fraud in the World’s Most Secretive Industry Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel Atlantic
What We Fear Most Ben Cave Orion Publishing Group Seven Dials
Scandal at Dolphin Square Simon Danczuk and Daniel Smith The History Press
The Life of Crime Martin Edwards HarperCollins Collins Crime Club
Unlawful Killings: Life, Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey Wendy Joseph Transworld Doubleday
Tremors In The Blood: Murder, Obsession and the Birth of the Lie Detector Amit Katwala Harper Collins Mudlark
To Hunt a Killer Julie Mackay and Robert Murphy HarperCollins Harper Element
The Real Special Relationship Michael Smith Simon & Schuster
The Life Inside Andy West Pan Macmillan Picador
About A Son David Whitehouse Orion Publishing Group Phoenix
Stitched Up: Stories of life and death from a prison doctor Shahed Yousaf Transworld Bantam Press

Sponsored by The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.


The 2024 Judges

Philip Gooden (Chair)

Philip writes both fiction and non-fiction. His historical novels include the Nick Revill series, set in Elizabethan London and recently republished in a uniform edition.

He also writes books on language, including Faux Pas?, which won the English Speaking Union award for the best English Language book of 2006, and most recently Bad Words, a history of bad language. He was Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association 2007-8.

Michael Smith

Michael Smith served in military intelligence before becoming a journalist with the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. He is the author of 17 books, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park.

Mireille Harper

Mireille Harper is an editorial director at Bluebird & One Boat (Pan Macmillan). She is also a freelance editor and writer, sensitivity reader and PR/communications consultant. As a communications consultant specialising in creative, cultural and community-led projects, Mireille has worked with Punch Records, BYP Network, ShoutOut Network. She is a trustee of the charity Migrateful and of the publisher And Other Stories, and on the advisory board for Africa Writes.

Hamza Jahanzeb 

Hamza Jahanzeb is a freelance publishing professional working in editorial services offering Authenticity Read expertise. He hails from Accrington (Lancs) in the north-west of England, and as a British-Pakistani, he is passionate for equality in the publishing industry. He commissioned Remember Me? by Shobna Gulati (dinnerladiesCoronation Street). A staunch advocate for #BookJobTransparency and co-founding member of the Pride in Publishing initiative, he is a campaigner and activist who seeks to change hiring practices to be more inclusive. He was also chosen as a Bookseller Rising Star of 2020. You can find him on Twitter at @hamzajahanzeb or contact him via his website:

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society – Sponsors of the Gold Dagger for Non-fiction

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity, ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid around £500 million to writers.

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